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Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key made his living as a lawyer in Georgetown in a house just west
of the namesake bridge. He lived there with his wife, Mary and 11 sons and daughters.
After the British had captured Washington in August 1814 of the War of 1812 and
the American troops were getting ready for the attack on Baltimore, Key agreed to
accompany an army colonel for a prisoner exchange. They boarded a British boat for the
exchange that was granted but they were not allowed to leave until the attack of
Baltimore was completed.
The bombardments began and last for over a day. The shelling came to and end
but the British were unable to penetrate and capture Baltimore. This inspired Key to write
a poem about that night, as he was release from custody of the British. The poem was
titled “Defense of Fort McHenry”. Later the poem was sung as a song the title change to
“The Star Spangled Banner”.